VICE President Constantino Chiwenga has backed Zanu-PF leader Emmerson Chiwenga as the ruling party’s sole candidate for the State presidency in general elections due next year.
Chiwenga’s remarks at a rally Friday in Chimanimani follow reports of tension between the two and suggestions the former defence forces chief could mount a leadership challenge at a congress due later this year.
“As we move towards next year’s harmonised elections, let it be known by everyone that our Presidential candidate is President Mnangagwa,” Chiwenga told a party rally in Chimanimani also attended by Mnangagwa Friday.
“He is a revolutionary and visionary leader. We should all rally behind him and ensure victory for the ruling party. “We should all join hands and work for the development of the country.
“No foreigner will come here and lead the development crusade. We should all embrace President Mnangagwa’s mantra that ‘nyika inovakwa nevene vayo’. Brick by brick; stone by stone, we should build our country.
Former Zanu-PF officials Godfrey Tsenengamu and Jim Kunakaa recently claimed that Chiwenga was privately seething after Mnangagwa reneged on a purported deal to serve just one term after the 2017 military coup which brought him to power.
Chiwenga was head of the defence forces when the military helped oust long-time ruler Robert Mugabe and his replacement by Mnangagwa. Commenting on remarks by Kunaka and Tsenengamu, respected political analyst told local media; “The utterances by Kunaka and Tsenengamu are yet another indication that all is not well in Zanu-PF.
“… the factionalism is building to a climax ahead of the purported congress and above all that Mnangagwa’s political survival hangs in the balance.
“But I rule out another coup; these appear to be political plots to outmanoeuvre Mnangagwa and force him to relent without a fight.”
However, Chiwenga assured supporters Friday that the party decision to back Mnangagwa for the 2023 elections stands.
“At the just-ended National People’s Conference in Bindura, the ruling party resoundingly endorsed President Mnangagwa as the sole candidate for the 2023 harmonised elections,” he said.
“No other thought or candidate will be entertained as that is the party position. Everyone, everywhere is aware that President Mnangagwa is the sole presidential candidate for 2023. He is the only one we all stand with. So don’t dream of other things